‘He's Not That Type of Kid:' Family Friend, Activist Paints Different Picture of WIU Shooting Suspect

NBCUniversal, Inc.

An 18-year-old college student is in custody this evening on accusations that he shot his roommate at Western Illinois University, but family friends are in shock that a teen who left Chicago to go to college is now being accused of a violent crime.

“He’s not that type of kid,” Chicago activist Darryl Smith, a family friend of the student, said. “He’s a kid that left Englewood to go to college. That says something in itself.”

18-year-old Kavion Poplous is now facing charges in connection with the shooting, which took place at the school on Tuesday night. He apparently drove from Macomb back to Chicago on Wednesday, where he turned himself in to authorities at District 6 police headquarters.

“I held him as being very courageous. It takes a lot of guts and courage to turn yourself in to authorities,” Smith said. “He walked himself in with his lawyer and his mom. He could have still be on the run, but that says a lot about this young man.”

Authorities believe the shooting stemmed from a dispute between roommates at the school. A smoke alarm ultimately led students to evacuate the residence hall at the school, and classes were canceled on Wednesday after the shooting.

NBC 5 Investigates looked into Poplous in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, revealing a young man who sought to “have an impact on my youth,” according to his social media profiles. He was proud of his recent high school graduation, posting on Twitter that he was excited about college and the opportunity to “change for the better.”

More details are emerging after a student at Western Illinois University allegedly shot his roommate. NBC 5 Investigates' Phil Rogers has more.

Now, Poplous is potentially facing charges in connection with the incident, and could be extradited to Macomb later this week. Despite that, Smith is hoping that the public won’t rush to judge his actions.

“We can’t rush to judgment. We have to be fair and impartial and wait on facts to come out,” he said.

Contact Us